The Connected Discourses of the Buddha - Selections

Chapter 35. Saḷāyatanasaṃyutta: Connected Discourses on the Six Sense Bases
Division II. The Second Fifty

IV. Channa

84 (1) Subject to Disintegration
At Sāvatthī. Then the Venerable Ānanda approached the Blessed One … and said to him: “Venerable sir, it is said, ‘the world, the world.’ In what way, venerable sir, is it said ‘the world’?”
    “Whatever is subject to disintegration, Ānanda, is called the world in the Noble One’s Discipline. And what is subject to disintegration? The eye, Ānanda, is subject to disintegration, forms … eye-consciousness … eye-contact … whatever feeling arises with eye-contact as condition … that too is subject to disintegration. The ear is subject to disintegration … The mind is subject to disintegration … Whatever feeling arises with mind-contact as condition … that too is subject to disintegration. Whatever is subject to disintegration, Ānanda, is called the world in the Noble One’s Discipline.” [54]

85 (2) Empty Is the World
Then the Venerable Ānanda approached the Blessed One … and said to him: “Venerable sir, it is said, ‘Empty is the world, empty is the world.’ In what way, venerable sir, is it said, ‘Empty is the world’?”
    “It is, Ānanda, because it is empty of self and of what belongs to self that it is said, ‘Empty is the world.’ And what is empty of self and of what belongs to self? The eye, Ānanda, is empty of self and of what belongs to self. Forms are empty of self and of what belongs to self. Eye-consciousness is empty of self and of what belongs to self. Eye-contact is empty of self and of what belongs to self…. Whatever feeling arises with mind-contact as condition—whether pleasant or painful or neither-painful-nor-pleasant—that too is empty of self and of what belongs to self.
     “It is, Ānanda, because it is empty of self and of what belongs to self that it is said, ‘Empty is the world.’”

86 (3) The Dhamma in Brief
Sitting to one side, the Venerable Ānanda said to the Blessed One: “Venerable sir, it would be good if the Blessed One would teach me the Dhamma in brief, so that, having heard the Dhamma from the Blessed One, I might dwell alone, withdrawn, diligent, ardent, and resolute.”
    “What do you think, Ānanda, is the eye permanent or impermanent?” – “Impermanent, venerable sir.”
    (Complete as in §32, down to “there is no more for this state of being.”) [55]

87 (4) Channa
On one occasion the Blessed One was dwelling at Rājagaha in the Bamboo Grove, the Squirrel Sanctuary. Now on that occasion the Venerable Sāriputta, the Venerable Mahācunda, and the Venerable Channa were dwelling on Mount Vulture Peak, and the Venerable Channa was sick, afflicted, gravely ill. Then, in the evening, the Venerable Sāriputta [56] emerged from seclusion, approached the Venerable Mahācunda, and said to him: “Come, friend Cunda, let us approach the Venerable Channa and ask about his illness.”
    “Yes, friend,” the Venerable Mahācunda replied.
    Then the Venerable Sāriputta and the Venerable Mahācunda approached the Venerable Channa and exchanged greetings with him, after which they sat down in the appointed seats. The Venerable Sāriputta then said to the Venerable Channa: “I hope you are bearing up, friend Channa, I hope you are getting better. I hope that your painful feelings are subsiding and not increasing, and that their subsiding, not their increase, is to be discerned.”
    “Friend Sāriputta, I am not bearing up, I am not getting better. Strong painful feelings are increasing in me, not subsiding, and their increase, not their subsiding, is to be discerned. Just as if a strong man were to split my head open with a sharp sword, so too violent winds cut through my head. I am not bearing up…. Just as if a strong man were to tighten a tough leather strap around my head as a headband, so too there are violent pains in my head. I am not bearing up…. Just as if a skilled butcher or his apprentice were to carve up an ox’s belly with a sharp butcher’s knife, so too violent winds are carving up my belly. I am not bearing up…. Just as if two strong men were to seize a weaker man by both arms and roast him over a pit of hot coals, [57] so too there is a violent burning in my body. I am not bearing up, I am not getting better. Strong painful feelings are increasing in me, not subsiding, and their increase, not their subsiding, is to be discerned. I will use the knife, friend Sāriputta, I have no desire to live.”
    “Let the Venerable Channa not use the knife. Let the Venerable Channa live. We want the Venerable Channa to live. If the Venerable Channa lacks suitable food, I will go in search of suitable food for him; if he lacks suitable medicine, I will go in search of suitable medicine for him; if he lacks a proper attendant, I will attend on him. Let the Venerable Channa not use the knife. Let the Venerable Channa live. We want the Venerable Channa to live.”
    “Friend Sāriputta, it is not that I lack suitable food; I have suitable food. It is not that I lack suitable medicine; I have suitable medicine. It is not that I lack proper attendants; I have proper attendants. Moreover, friend, for a long time the Teacher has been served by me in an agreeable way, not in a disagreeable way; for it is proper for a disciple to serve the Teacher in an agreeable way, not in a disagreeable way. Remember this, friend Sāriputta: the bhikkhu Channa will use the knife blamelessly.”
    “We would ask the Venerable Channa about a certain point, if he would grant us the favour of answering our question.” [58]
    “Ask, friend Sāriputta. When I have heard I shall know.”
    “Friend Channa, do you regard the eye, eye-consciousness, and things cognizable with eye-consciousness thus: ‘This is mine, this I am, this is my self’? Do you regard the ear, ear-consciousness, and things cognizable with ear-consciousness thus…? Do you regard the mind, mind-consciousness, and things cognizable with mind-consciousness thus: ‘This is mine, this I am, this is my self’?
    “Friend Sāriputta, I regard the eye, eye-consciousness, and things cognizable with eye-consciousness thus: ‘This is not mine, this I am not, this is not my self.’ I regard the ear, ear-consciousness, and things cognizable with ear-consciousness thus … I regard the mind, mind-consciousness, and things cognizable with mind-consciousness thus: ‘This is not mine, this I am not, this is not my self.’”
    “Friend Channa, what have you seen and directly known in the eye, in eye-consciousness, and in things cognizable with eye-consciousness, that you regard them thus: ‘This is not mine, this I am not, this is not my self’? What have you seen and directly known in the ear … in the mind, in mind-consciousness, and in things cognizable with mind-consciousness, that you regard them thus: ‘This is not mine, this I am not, this is not my self’?”
    “Friend Sāriputta, it is because I have seen and directly known cessation in the eye, in eye-consciousness, and in things cognizable with eye-consciousness, that I regard them thus: ‘This is not mine, this I am not, this is not my self.’ It is because I have seen and directly known cessation in the ear … [59] … in the mind, in mind-consciousness, and in things cognizable with mind-consciousness, that I regard them thus: ‘This is not mine, this I am not, this is not my self.’”
    When this was said, the Venerable Mahācunda said to the Venerable Channa: “Therefore, friend Channa, this teaching of the Blessed One is to be constantly given close attention: ‘For one who is dependent there is wavering; for one who is independent there is no wavering. When there is no wavering, there is tranquillity; when there is tranquillity, there is no inclination; when there is no inclination, there is no coming and going; when there is no coming and going, there is no passing away and being reborn; when there is no passing away and being reborn, there is neither here nor beyond nor in between the two. This itself is the end of suffering.’”
    Then, when the Venerable Sāriputta and the Venerable Mahācunda had given the Venerable Channa this exhortation, they rose from their seats and departed. Then, soon after they had left, the Venerable Channa used the knife.
    Then the Venerable Sāriputta approached the Blessed One, paid homage to him, sat down to one side, and said to him: “Venerable sir, the Venerable Channa has used the knife. What is his destination, what is his future bourn?”
    “Sāriputta, didn’t the bhikkhu Channa declare his blamelessness right in your presence?”
    “Venerable sir, there is a Vajjian village named Pubbavijjhana. There the Venerable Channa had friendly families, intimate families, hospitable families.”
    “The Venerable Channa did indeed have these friendly families, Sāriputta, intimate families, hospitable families; but I do not [60] say that to this extent one is blameworthy. Sāriputta, when one lays down this body and takes up another body, then I say one is blameworthy. This did not happen in the case of the bhikkhu Channa. The bhikkhu Channa used the knife blamelessly. Thus, Sāriputta, should you remember it.”

88 (5) Puṇṇa
Then the Venerable Puṇṇa approached the Blessed One … and said to him: “Venerable sir, it would be good if the Blessed One would teach me the Dhamma in brief, so that, having heard the Dhamma from the Blessed One, I might dwell alone, withdrawn, diligent, ardent, and resolute.”
    “Puṇṇa, there are forms cognizable by the eye that are desirable, lovely, agreeable, pleasing, sensually enticing, tantalizing. If a bhikkhu seeks delight in them, welcomes them, and remains holding to them, delight arises in him. With the arising of delight, Puṇṇa, there is the arising of suffering, I say. There are, Puṇṇa, sounds cognizable by the ear … mental phenomena cognizable by the mind that are desirable, lovely, agreeable, pleasing, sensually enticing, tantalizing. If a bhikkhu seeks delight in them, welcomes them, and remains holding to them, delight arises in him. With the arising of delight, Puṇṇa, there is the arising of suffering, I say.
    “Puṇṇa, there are forms cognizable by the eye … mental phenomena cognizable by the mind that are desirable, lovely, agreeable, pleasing, sensually enticing, tantalizing. [61] If a bhikkhu does not seek delight in them, does not welcome them, and does not remain holding to them, delight ceases in him. With the cessation of delight, Puṇṇa, there is the cessation of suffering, I say.
    “Now that you have received this brief exhortation from me, Puṇṇa, in which country will you dwell?”
    “There is, venerable sir, a country named Sunāparanta. I will dwell there.”
    “Puṇṇa, the people of Sunāparanta are wild and rough. If they abuse and revile you, what will you think about that?”
    “Venerable sir, if the people of Sunāparanta abuse and revile me, then I will think: ‘These people of Sunāparanta are excellent, truly excellent, in that they do not give me a blow with the fist.’ Then I will think thus, Blessed One; then I will think thus, Fortunate One.”
    “But, Puṇṇa, if the people of Sunāparanta do give you a blow with the fist, what will you think about that?”
    “Venerable sir, if the people of Sunāparanta give me a blow with the fist, then I will think: ‘These people of Sunāparanta are excellent, truly excellent, in that they do not give me a blow with a clod.’ Then I will think thus, Blessed One; then I will think thus, Fortunate One.”
    “But, Puṇṇa, if the people of Sunāparanta do give you a blow with a clod, what will you think about that?”
    “Venerable sir, if the people of Sunāparanta give me a blow with a clod, then I will think: ‘These people of Sunāparanta are excellent, truly excellent, in that they do not give me a blow with a rod.’ [62] Then I will think thus, Blessed One; then I will think thus, Fortunate One.”
    “But, Puṇṇa, if the people of Sunāparanta do give you a blow with a rod, what will you think about that?”
    “Venerable sir, if the people of Sunāparanta give me a blow with a rod, then I will think: ‘These people of Sunāparanta are excellent, truly excellent, in that they do not stab me with a knife.’ Then I will think thus, Blessed One; then I will think thus, Fortunate One.”
    “But, Puṇṇa, if the people of Sunāparanta do stab you with a knife, what will you think about that?”
    “Venerable sir, if the people of Sunāparanta stab me with a knife, then I will think: ‘These people of Sunāparanta are excellent, truly excellent, in that they do not take my life with a sharp knife.’ Then I will think thus, Blessed One; then I will think thus, Fortunate One.”
    “But, Puṇṇa, if the people of Sunāparanta do take your life with a sharp knife, what will you think about that?”
    “Venerable sir, if the people of Sunāparanta take my life with a sharp knife, then I will think: ‘There have been disciples of the Blessed One who, being repelled, humiliated, and disgusted by the body and by life, sought for an assailant. But I have come upon this assailant even without a search.’ Then I will think thus, Blessed One; then I will think thus, Fortunate One.”
    “Good, good, Puṇṇa! Endowed with such self-control and peacefulness, you will be able to dwell in the Sunāparanta country. Now, Puṇṇa, you may go at your own convenience.”
    Then, having delighted and rejoiced in the Blessed One’s statement, the Venerable Puṇṇa rose from his seat, paid homage to the Blessed One, [63] and departed, keeping him on his right. He then set his lodging in order, took his bowl and outer robe, and set out to wander towards the Sunāparanta country. Wandering by stages, he eventually arrived in the Sunāparanta country, where he dwelt. Then, during that rains, the Venerable Puṇṇa established five hundred male lay followers and five hundred female lay followers in the practice, and he himself, during that same rains, realized the three true knowledges. And during that same rains he attained final Nibbāna.
    Then a number of bhikkhus approached the Blessed One … and said to him: “Venerable sir, the clansman named Puṇṇa, who was given a brief exhortation by the Blessed One, has died. What is his destination? What is his future bourn?”
    “Bhikkhus, the clansman Puṇṇa was wise. He practised in accordance with the Dhamma and did not trouble me on account of the Dhamma. The clansman Puṇṇa has attained final Nibbāna.”

89 (6) Bāhiya
Then the Venerable Bāhiya approached the Blessed One … and said to him: “Venerable sir, it would be good if the Blessed One would teach me the Dhamma in brief, so that, having heard the Dhamma from the Blessed One, I might dwell alone, withdrawn, diligent, ardent, and resolute.”
    “What do you think, Bāhiya, is the eye permanent or impermanent?” – “Impermanent, venerable sir.” … (as in §32 down to:) [64] … “He understands: ‘Destroyed is birth, the holy life has been lived, what had to be done has been done, there is no more for this state of being.’”
    Then the Venerable Bāhiya, having delighted and rejoiced in the Blessed One’s words, rose from his seat, and, after paying homage to the Blessed One, keeping him on his right, he departed. Then, dwelling alone, withdrawn, diligent, ardent, and resolute, the Venerable Bāhiya, by realizing it for himself with direct knowledge, in this very life entered and dwelt in that unsurpassed goal of the holy life for the sake of which clansmen rightly go forth from the household life into homelessness. He directly knew: “Destroyed is birth, the holy life has been lived, what had to be done has been done, there is no more for this state of being.” And the Venerable Bāhiya became one of the arahants.

90 (7) Being Stirred (1)
“Bhikkhus, being stirred is a disease, being stirred is a tumour, being stirred is a dart. Therefore, bhikkhus, the Tathāgata dwells unstirred, with the dart removed. [65] Therefore, bhikkhus, if a bhikkhu should wish, ‘May I dwell unstirred, with the dart removed!’ he should not conceive the eye, should not conceive in the eye, should not conceive from the eye, should not conceive, ‘The eye is mine.’
    “He should not conceive forms … eye-consciousness … eye-contact … and as to whatever feeling arises with eye-contact as condition … he should not conceive that, should not conceive in that, should not conceive from that, should not conceive, ‘That is mine.’
    “He should not conceive the ear … He should not conceive the mind … mental phenomena … mind-consciousness … mind-contact … and as to whatever feeling arises with mind-contact as condition … he should not conceive that, should not conceive in that, should not conceive from that, should not conceive, ‘That is mine.’
    “He should not conceive all, should not conceive in all, should not conceive from all, should not conceive, ‘All is mine.’
    “Since he does not conceive anything thus, he does not cling to anything in the world. Not clinging, he is not agitated. Being unagitated, he personally attains Nibbāna. [66] He understands: ‘Destroyed is birth, the holy life has been lived, what had to be done has been done, there is no more for this state of being.’”

91 (8) Being Stirred (2)
“Bhikkhus, being stirred is a disease, being stirred is a tumour, being stirred is a dart. Therefore, bhikkhus, the Tathāgata dwells unstirred, with the dart removed. Therefore, bhikkhus, if a bhikkhu should wish, ‘May I dwell unstirred, with the dart removed!’ he should not conceive the eye … forms … eye-consciousness … eye-contact … and as to whatever feeling arises with eye-contact as condition … he should not conceive that, should not conceive in that, should not conceive from that, should not conceive, ‘That is mine.’ For whatever one conceives, bhikkhus, whatever one conceives in, whatever one conceives from, whatever one conceives as ‘mine’—that is otherwise. The world, becoming otherwise, attached to existence, seeks delight only in existence.
    “He should not conceive the ear … He should not conceive the mind … mental phenomena … mind-consciousness … mind-contact … and as to whatever feeling arises with mind-contact as condition … he should not conceive that, should not conceive in that, should not conceive from that, should not conceive, ‘That is mine.’ For whatever one conceives, bhikkhus, whatever one conceives in, [67] whatever one conceives from, whatever one conceives as ‘mine’—that is otherwise. The world, becoming otherwise, attached to existence, seeks delight only in existence.
    “Whatever, bhikkhus, is the extent of the aggregates, the elements, and the sense bases, he does not conceive that, does not conceive in that, does not conceive from that, does not conceive, ‘That is mine.’
    “Since he does not conceive anything thus, he does not cling to anything in the world. Not clinging, he is not agitated. Being unagitated, he personally attains Nibbāna. He understands: ‘Destroyed is birth, the holy life has been lived, what had to be done has been done, there is no more for this state of being.’”

92 (9) The Dyad (1)
“Bhikkhus, I will teach you the dyad. Listen to that….
    “And what, bhikkhus, is the dyad? The eye and forms, the ear and sounds, the nose and odours, the tongue and tastes, the body and tactile objects, the mind and mental phenomena. This is called the dyad.
    “If anyone, bhikkhus, should speak thus: ‘Having rejected this dyad, I shall make known another dyad’—that would be a mere empty boast on his part. If he was questioned he would not be able to reply and, further, he would meet with vexation. For what reason? Because, bhikkhus, that would not be within his domain.”

93 (10) The Dyad (2)
“Bhikkhus, consciousness comes to be in dependence on a dyad. And how, bhikkhus, does consciousness come to be in dependence on a dyad? In dependence on the eye and forms there arises eye-consciousness. The eye is impermanent, changing, becoming otherwise; [68] forms are impermanent, changing, becoming otherwise. Thus this dyad is moving and tottering, impermanent, changing, becoming otherwise.
    “Eye-consciousness is impermanent, changing, becoming otherwise. The cause and condition for the arising of eye-consciousness is also impermanent, changing, becoming otherwise. When, bhikkhus, eye-consciousness has arisen in dependence on a condition that is impermanent, how could it be permanent?
    “The meeting, the encounter, the concurrence of these three things is called eye-contact. Eye-contact too is impermanent, changing, becoming otherwise. The cause and condition for the arising of eye-contact is also impermanent, changing, becoming otherwise. When, bhikkhus, eye-contact has arisen in dependence on a condition that is impermanent, how could it be permanent?
    “Contacted, bhikkhus, one feels, contacted one intends, contacted one perceives. Thus these things too are moving and tottering, impermanent, changing, becoming otherwise.
    “In dependence on the ear and sounds there arises ear-consciousness … [69] … In dependence on the mind and mental phenomena there arises mind-consciousness. The mind is impermanent, changing, becoming otherwise; mental phenomena are impermanent, changing, becoming otherwise. Thus this dyad is moving and tottering, impermanent, changing, becoming otherwise.
    “Mind-consciousness is impermanent, changing, becoming otherwise. The cause and condition for the arising of mind-consciousness is also impermanent, changing, becoming otherwise. When, bhikkhus, mind-consciousness has arisen in dependence on a condition that is impermanent, how could it be permanent?
    “The meeting, the encounter, the concurrence of these three things is called mind-contact. Mind-contact too is impermanent, changing, becoming otherwise. The cause and condition for the arising of mind-contact is also impermanent, changing, becoming otherwise. When, bhikkhus, mind-contact has arisen in dependence on a condition that is impermanent, how could it be permanent?
    “Contacted, bhikkhus, one feels, contacted one intends, contacted one perceives. Thus these things too are moving and tottering, impermanent, changing, becoming otherwise.
    “It is in such a way, bhikkhus, that consciousness comes to be in dependence on a dyad.”
 

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